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President Wickremesinghe speaking in Parliament recently

Mr. President, I listened to your statement to Parliament, relating to the IMF programme. It is common knowledge that the IMF, or any lending institution, will not assist any country which is known to be corrupt with an abysmal track record unless some basic conditions are fulfilled. They will also expect the legislature to accept the programme designed which will also have clauses to review progress before granting the second tranche. Something that was manifestly clear to those of us is the yawning gap between good order and what prevails in the national legislature which got created in 2020. As the Buddha said for deeds to be good thoughts had to be good.

In this scenario where a corrupt lot is calling the shots and your ignoring and expecting the support of many honourable men to throw in their lot to form a NATIONAL GOVERNMENT and for them also to hold office will not provide the desired results. No self-respecting member, with a clean record, will want to tarnish his image by joining the present Cabinet. That this legislature has lost its credibility is widely known and that you are no longer at the mercy of the corrupt KAPUTA, too,is known to the country. In this backdrop, why you do not jettison the known ineffective corrupt ministers is beyond comprehension.

I guess the intelligentsia unreservedly recognise what you had achieved during the short space of time, but find it difficult to understand why you selectively enforce laws.
That you are now actively engaged to get elected to the top seat at the next election is evident and needless to emphasise you must convince the country that you will not selectively tolerate blatant violations of the laws of the land.
I will list a few.

A. The judiciary has pronounced twice that Diana Gamage had provided false documents and committed a serious offence and obtained a passport. Making false declarations and violation of the IMMIGRATION ORDINANCE is serious. She is a British citizen and cannot hold any state office. The judiciary expects the CID to arrest her and produce her in Court and lucidly said that no warrant was required. In such circumstances for you to ignore application of the law and protect her is certainly unacceptable. It’s worse to observe you retaining her as a Minister of State at public expense. The country is well aware how the Police treat alleged lawbreakers.
Why are you protecting such a person?
B. You have a man as a Cabinet Minister, a person convicted and jailed now suspended for extortion. He was fined 20 million and ordered to pay the complainant one million, too. In what other legislature will such a person function as a Minister. I know you will be aware how Rahul Gandhi, with such an illustrious lineage, had to forfeit his seat in the LOK SABHA after he was sentenced by the judiciary for defamation.
Why are you having him as a Minister in a Ministry where he can extort more.
Do you expect honourable members to support you when you choose to continue with such men .
C. The CID has a complete dossier relating to a man who robbed all the antique furniture left behind for the girls’ hostel of the University of Colombo by the respected Gynaecologist Dr Siva Chinnathamby. This notorious crook is now waiting for the National Government to become a Minister.
The list is long and you must bear in mind that such types constitute heavy baggage that you will carry in your efforts to get re-elected.

Brian de Silva


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